Let loose! 7 tips for introducing leash-free dog parks

by | Dog Care |

Leash-free dog parks can be a lot of fun for you and your pet! They have more freedom, and you can play more games with them. But before you introduce your dog to a leash-free park, here are some things you need to know, from our blog; How do I … Introduce my dog to leash-free parks?

Tips for going leash-free

  1. dog park, leash-free
    photo credit: Hot Pursuit via photopin (license)

    Make sure your dog is up to date on all their shots and vaccinations before bringing them to a park.

  2. Teach obedience at home! Commands like sit, stay and come can become a distant memory to your dog once there are dogs running, barking and playing. This is why your dog needs to be as sharp as possible to his basic commands. It’ll make life a lot easier, especially when it’s time to leave!
  3. Take your dog to a local park and walk him in the vicinity of the leash-free area without putting him in. Allow him to observe the sights and sounds of the other dogs, this will expose him to the environment.
  4. Visiting the park during “off hours” such as early in the day or during the week will mean less dogs. For his first few visits, one or two dogs is the ideal.
  5. Learn to read your dog’s behaviour. Friendly barking and posture is very different than angry or nervous yelping or raised hair on his back. If your dog is starting to become aggressive or threatened (tail between the legs, teeth bared, ears back) by the group or even by one other dog, get a hold of your dog immediately and remove him from the park.
  6. If you feel another person’s dog is becoming aggressive with your dog, identify the owner and speak up. Ask them if their dog is just playing or if you should be concerned. Many owners are also novices to dog parks, and may not be paying attention to their dog.
  7. Always go prepared. Bring water and a water dish and a baggie for scooping poop. Be aware that any dog toy you bring to the park will most likely be used or “captured” by other dogs.

*Some dogs that are not properly socialized will feel threatened by packs of other dogs. If you have any concerns about your dog’s attitude towards other dogs, be sure to consult your veterinarian or a dog behavior expert first on ways to socialize your pet.

Now that you have some helpful tips – enjoy exploring leash-free parks with your dog!


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As an animal lover all the work you do to help ensure that every dog and cat can find their forever home that is filled with love is greatly appreciated.